Madam C. J. Walker

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by fedwards23
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Social Studies
African-American History

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Madam C. J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove known as Madame C.J. Walker was born on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana. Sarah, her parents, and her five siblings were slaves on the Madison Parish plantation. In 1872, Sarah’s mother died from cholera. After the death of her mother, Sarah’s father remarried. Sarah was orphaned at the age of 7, and was taken in by her sister and her brother-in-law. Sarah was abused by her brother-in-law.To escape the abuse, she married to Moses McWilliams at the age of 14. After 3 years in her marriage, at the age of 17 she gave birth to her daughter, Lelia McWilliams. When she was 20, her husband Moses died. Sarah was left with her daughter to care for, all alone. Sarah moved to St.Louis, where her brother’s owned and worked at a barber shop, Sarah got a job as a washer woman. Sarah only made a dollar a day, which she saved so her daughter could go to school, and get an education. She learned about hair care from her brothers. She used that knowledge, and began selling hair care products. In 1904, at the World’s Fair, she became a sales agent and sold products for Anne Malone, an African American hair care entrepreneur. She expanded her knowledge then moved to Denver to work on her own hair care products.Sarah then remarried to Charles Joseph Walker, a newspaper salesman. Sarah then emerged to the name of Madame C.J. Walker, an independent hair dresser, and a retailer of cosmetic creams. Walker trained to become a beauty culturist, and learned on ways of selling. In 1906 her and her husband traveled the Southern and Eastern United States, to sell beauty products. Madame C.J. Walker had people sell her hair products. The products being sold all over the U.S. let the word out about her company, Walker expanded her business across the world to Cuba, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, and Panama. She put her daughter in charge of some of the business places. Walker opened her own college, where she trained her employees. She taught other black women budgeting, and grooming so they can start their own business. In 1910 she built her own headquarter, factory, hair salon, and a laboratory for research. She started to become extremely successful.Madam C.J. Walker gave lectures and speeches on political, economic. and social issues concerning African Americans. In 1917 she commissioned Vertner Tandy, who was the first black architect in New York, to build her $250,000 house. At that house she hosted many events, one event was to honor Emmett Scott, an assistant secretary for the Negro Affairs or the United States War Department. In 1918 she pledged $5,000, $65,000 in today money to the NAACP’s anti-lynching fund.Madam C.J. Walker died on Sunday, May 25th,1919, from hypertension, at the age of 51 in her home. She was considered to be the wealthiest African- American Woman, in America. After her death her daughter, Lelia Walker became the president of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Co.


Born-December 23rd, 1867Died-Sunday, May 25th, 1919

- Known as the first African-American female millionare.- Created her own hair and cosmetic's line.- Built her own home, college, headquarters, and hair salon.



Madam C.J. Walker


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